Shaheen Leads Senate Letter Requesting European Union Support to Combat the Fentanyl Crisis **Letter authored by Shaheen says collective international action on precursor chemicals could save lives in the United States**
PoliticalNews.me - Feb 27,2017 - Shaheen Leads Senate Letter Requesting European Union Support to Combat the Fentanyl Crisis
**Letter authored by Shaheen says collective international action on precursor chemicals could save lives in the United States**
**New Hampshire has the highest synthetic opioid death rate in the country**
(Washington, D.C.) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a group of eighteen senators in a letter asking the European Commission to support action at the United Nations to regulate precursor chemicals of fentanyl. The senators encourage the European Commission to vote in favor of designating these chemicals as Table 1 substances under the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances when the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meets in Vienna in March. Regulation of these chemicals would help curb the manufacturing and trafficking of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. Fentanyl, which is often mixed with heroin, has contributed to three-fourths of the opioid deaths in New Hampshire, which has the highest synthetic opioid death rate in the country. N-Phenethyl-4-piperidinone (NPP) and 4-anilino-N-phenethyl-4-piperidine (ANPP) are the two precursor chemicals under consideration by the CND, the UN body which is empowered to regulate precursor chemicals. Of the 54 members of the CND, EU member states make up the largest voting bloc.
“We write to request the European Commission’s assistance in addressing a significant aspect of the opioid epidemic that is killing Americans at alarming rates,” the senators wrote in their letter to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker.
“The unregulated purchase of NPP and ANPP is perfectly consistent with current international law because these chemicals are not currently controlled under international drug treaties... without collective international action it will be difficult to control international manufacture, distribution and sales of NPP and ANPP, and as a result will frustrate efforts to curb manufacturing and trafficking of illicit fentanyl,” the senators’ letter states. “We would greatly appreciate support from the European Commission for the U.S. request to designate NPP and ANPP as Table I substances when it is considered at the March CND meeting in Vienna.”
The letter was also signed by the following senators: Ed Markey (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
In October 2016, Sen. Shaheen and a group of 14 senators sent a letter to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which oversees implementation of the UN drug conventions, requesting the INCB recommend adding NPP and ANPP to the list of Table I substances.
Full text of the letter is below.
February 17, 2017
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels, Belgium
We write to request the European Commission’s assistance in addressing a significant aspect of the opioid epidemic that is killing Americans at alarming rates.
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